Ramen Bar Goku, Glebe

Ramen Bar Goku in Glebe in early 2017. It’s owned by the same people behind Menya Noodle Bar, a favour­ite for a quick meal, so we were eager to try it out. Unfortunately, it’s closed on Mondays, T’s day off, so N and I made our way there ourselves much to the envy of T who enjoys ramen more than the rest of us.

On the busy strip of res­taur­ants on Glebe Point Road, Ramen Bar Goku sees lines through the door dur­ing lunch hour. The interi­or is wooden with lan­terns bran­dish­ing ‘ramen’ in Japanese.

This is the most basic ramen on their menu, Goku Ramen ($11.90) in a miso-based chick­en broth with egg noodle, roas­ted pork, bam­boo shoots, shal­lots, ses­ame and seasoned boiled egg.

You’ll recall that I’ve nev­er been much of a fan of ramen, find­ing it decent and enjoy­able but noth­ing I’d ever crave. This, how­ever, is eas­ily the ramen most suited to my tastes. The chick­en based miso broth is rich and fla­vour­ful but the true standout is the noodles, which have a delect­able bite and tak­ing on some of the fla­vour of the broth. The ses­ame seeds are very fra­grant, the egg is per­fectly gooey inside, and the bam­boo shoots add a crunchy fresh­ness to the bowl. The roas­ted pork is a bit dry com­pared to Ippudo.

N tries the same ramen in a soy-based chick­en broth. She finds the ramen com­fort­ing in a simple sat­is­fy­ing way, although found the broth to be a tad salty by the end and would’ve enjoyed more veget­ables and bam­boo shoots to bal­ance the salt­i­ness.

On a second vis­it, I try the Black Garlic Ramen ($12.90) with a salt based chick­en broth. It’s egg noodle with roas­ted pork, bam­boo shoots, shal­lots, ses­ame, fresh gar­lic and homemade car­a­mel­ised gar­lic oil.

There is no doubt­ing that this is a black gar­lic ramen — you can smell the fra­grant aroma of the gar­lic before your taste buds get any­where near it. It’s immensely pleas­ant, and the noodles are gen­er­ous and have the same con­sist­ently delect­able bite to them that set them apart from oth­er ramen joints. The pork on this second vis­it is tender and juicy and no longer dry like on the first vis­it.

N eyes the Katsu Don ($12.90) on the first vis­it but restrains her­self to their sig­na­ture ramen. This second vis­it though is fair game. The katsu don is deep fried chick­en cut­let with egg, onion, car­rot, shal­lots and ses­ame on rice.

A com­mon exper­i­ence with katsu don has been soggy crumb on the pork, and unfor­tu­nately, this is no dif­fer­ent and res­ults in a gen­er­al ‘mush’ tex­ture for the bowl along with the runny egg, which was a tad salty. That said, the serving was gen­er­ous and the seasoned rice added fla­vour.

Ramen Goku has the accol­ade of serving the first ramen that I’ve actu­ally wanted to return to enjoy again. The non-ramen items may be hit-or-miss but their sig­na­ture ramen items are some­thing to return for.

Ramen Bar Goku is loc­ated at 30 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe NSW 2037.